That’s all Cornell University biology Professor Randy Wayne said he has been able to determine so far about the whereabouts of a longtime display in the Ivy League school’s Kroch Library of a bust of President Abraham Lincoln in front of a bronzed Gettysburg Address plaque.
Wayne, a frequent visitor to the library, which houses Cornell’s rare and manuscript collections, said when he stopped in several weeks ago he noticed the display had been disappeared.
“It’s been there since I can remember,” he told The College Fix in an interview.
He asked the librarians about it, and they had no details to provide, except to say it was removed after some sort of complaint, he said. It’s been replaced with, “well, nothing,” Wayne said. The walls are white, according to photos Wayne took for The Fix.
The bust and plaque had been on display in the library since at least 2013.
On June 23, Wayne emailed Cornell University President Martha Pollack, asking about the display:
Dear President Pollack,
I am wondering if you are aware that the bust of Abraham Lincoln purchased by Ezra Cornell and the bronze plaque of the Gettysburg Address that was beside it has been removed from the RMC in Kroch Library and replaced with nothing. If you are aware, can you tell me why? Thanks.
Pollack has not responded to him, the professor told The Fix.
The president’s office and Cornell media affairs has also not responded to repeated emailed requests over the last week from The College Fix, as well as a phone call Monday, regarding the whereabouts of the Gettysburg Address plaque and Lincoln bust, and why they were removed.
What you and your ilk fail to appreciate is how tediously familiar I find your tactics. I had a violent ex-husband who used to tell me life would be great if only I’d comply, but you’re making the same mistake he did. Women like me can’t be bullied out of resistance. pic.twitter.com/039pBtFtNT
Fëdor Dostoevsky has become the unlikely source of a controversy at a Milan university over its decision to drop a course on the 19th-century Russian novelist.
The University of Milano-Bicocca informed the Italian writer Paolo Nori on Tuesday night that his course on the author of Crime and Punishment had been cancelled “to avoid any controversy, in a moment of high tension.”
An incredulous, emotional Nori read the contents of the email during an Instagram live video in which he slammed the university’s decision as “ridiculous”, saying “even dead Russians” are now the target of censorship in Italy.
News of his cancelled course spread rapidly on social media, with criticism directed at the university which soon found itself embroiled in the very thing it had sought to avoid: controversy.
On Wednesday morning the university issued a statement underlining that it is “open to dialogue and listening even in this very difficult period that sees us dismayed by the escalation of the conflict.”
It confirmed that the course on Dostoevsky would in fact go ahead as originally planned and announced that the rector would be meeting Nori next week “for a moment of reflection.”
It is not the first time in recent days that the war in Ukraine has impacted the arts in Milan.
Earlier this week the city’s mayor Beppe Sala “ruled out” the return of Valery Gergiev to the podium at La Scala over the Russian conductor’s refusal to condemn the invasion of Ukraine by his friend Vladimir Putin.
Max Eden, at AEI, informs us that Georgetown Law coddles ;eft-wing students who respond to reading a comment they do not like by demanding “reparations,” “free food,” “and a place to cry”(!) by suspending a distinguished professor.
Georgetown University Law Center had long been at the bottom of the law school world’s elite “Top-14” rankings. It maintained its worst-of-the-best status largely by the draw of its physical location in Washington, D.C. It finally slipped below UCLA this year, just when Georgetown Law distinguished itself above and beyond even top-ranked Yale Law in a category not ranked by US News and World Report: leadership. To wit: Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor has proven himself, almost beyond a reasonable doubt, to be the single weakest leader in American higher education.
An examination of Treanor’s leadership by a jury of his peers should convict him of this weighty charge. Last March, someone leaked a video of professor Sandra Sellers lamenting that black students tended to score poorly on her examinations. Treanor publicly condemned her without speaking to her. Georgetown then violated its own policy and American Association of University Professors’ guidelines and fired Sellers without any due process.
I asked Treanor: Why condemn Sellers before speaking with her? Was there an empirical basis for her lamentation? If there was, then why would he find lamenting an empirical truth to be “abhorrent?” I also asked him to comment on what a Georgetown Law student told me: “[B]ecause of [Treanor’s] action, [students] are now terrified of providing any personal opinion or even putting forward ideas ‘for the sake of argument’ in [Georgetown Law] classes for fear that someone might clip their speech and post a video on social media to destroy their reputation and career.”
Treanor provided no comment. He did, however, publicly vow to consider requiring all students to study Critical Race Theory (CRT), to make professor tenure contingent on CRT-inspired “diversity, equity and inclusion” criteria, and insisted that he was “dedicated to the important work that lies ahead.”
The gutless, brainless nincompoop eunuchs who have by some unaccountable disaster been placed in charge of the Museum of Natural History in New York, in characteristically cowardly fashion, arranged to have the noble equestrian statue of Teddy Roosevelt removed from in front of the Museum in the middle of the night. (WSJ)
A statue of Theodore Roosevelt that stood in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City for decades was removed, the result of years of debate over a monument that critics said glorified colonialism.
A crane lifted the bronze portion of the statue up from the museum’s Central Park West entrance overnight Wednesday, according to the museum and images and videos of the removal process.
The statue, by James Earle Fraser, shows the 26th U.S. president on horseback flanked by a Native American man and African man on foot. Named the “Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt,” it was commissioned in 1925 and unveiled in 1940 at the museum, which his father had helped found.
The museum requested the statue be removed in June 2020 as the movement for racial justice after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis prompted many institutions to re-examine monuments. Owned by New York City, the statue sat on public parkland. The New York City Public Design Commission approved its removal unanimously in June 2021.
The statue, by James Earle Fraser, shows the 26th U.S. president on horseback flanked by a Native American man and African man on foot.
The statue was designed to celebrate Mr. Roosevelt as a devoted naturalist, according to the museum. “At the same time, the statue itself communicates a racial hierarchy that the Museum and members of the public have long found disturbing,” the museum says on its website.
The ironies are almost limitless. Theodore Roosevelt was a war-time hero, a Naturalist and Explorer personally intimately involved in the building of the Natural History Museum’s collections, and one of the most popular presidents in American history. On top of which, Teddy (gifted, as Oliver Wendell Holmes observed, with “a first-class temperament and a second-class intellect) went all Bolshie part-way through his presidency and became a Progressive (!). Teddy qualifies as a hero and role-model to both political sides, but even that does not save his memory from the demented fanaticism and racial obsessions of the radical Left, to whom our elite Establishment misses no opportunity to grovel.
The statue is actually not in the least uncomplimentary to President Roosevelt’s native guides who are depicted, just as idealized and heroic, striding beside him into the Wilderness. Its cancellation and exile to North Dakota is simply an insane expression of the neurotic racial hypersensitivities and treasonous oikophobia of the demoniacs and crackpots making up the revolutionary Left.
How can it be, one exclaims in frustration, that today’s world is run by utter nincompoops so cowardly that they will not, and cannot, simply reject out of hand the insolent, obnoxious, and just plain stupid complaints and demands of crazy people who are addled and deranged by perverse and contemptible ideas?
The icing on the cake in all of this is the recorded and widely publicized endorsement of the statue’s removal and exile by none other than the great man’s namesake and descendant Theodore Roosevelt V.
Somewhere in Valhalla, Teddy is throwing up in the street as he contemplates what’s become of the American Aristocracy and his own bloodline.
Western Washington University may scrap its Viking mascot and is currently conducting an investigation to help make a final decision on the issue.
The effort was spawned in part from requests asking the public university to remove the names of four buildings on campus due to racism concerns: Huxley College of the Environment, Mathes Hall, Haggard Hall, and the Viking Union.
In December, trustees announced that T.H. Huxley’s name would be removed, citing the scientist’s “white supremacist values that dehumanize and harm many members of the Western community.” The Haggard and Mathes names were spared.
But the verdict is out on the Vikings. A “strong majority” of the university’s Legacy Review Taskforce recommended to trustees to remove “Viking” from the Viking Union.
“The Task Force was concerned about the harm caused by asking all members of the Western community to identify with a figure that is potentially exclusive on the basis of both ethnicity and gender,” the taskforce stated in its report.
“Furthermore, the Task Force found names idolizing conquest as out of line with the university’s contemporary values around honoring local Indigenous communities. Task Force members who did not recommend renaming in this report proposed the building name be evaluated alongside the mascot by a separate committee.”
Trustees directed the university “to conduct a more thorough assessment of the Viking name in the broader context of the University mascot,” the December news release states.
The media and communications team at Western Washington University did not respond to requests from The College Fix seeking comment. …
This is not the first time that a mascot change at WWU has been raised. In 2015, an effort to get it scrapped claimed the Viking mascot is “hyper-masculine” and “aggressive.”
However, the area is steeped in Scandinavian roots. In 1910, 30 percent of the foreign-born population had Scandinavian blood. The National Nordic Museum is also located in Seattle, Washington.
Despite the heritage, the Viking as a mascot, in general, may still be on its way out.
During the current Washington Football Team name scandal, many people looked for other teams that may change their alleged problematic names. The Minnesota Vikings is a major team considered.
A change.org petition argued the NFL mascot is “highly distasteful.” It argued the Vikings thought “they were entitled to anything they want and not living in harmony with groups of people with differing ideologies.”
Robert Spencer, at PJM, notes that the rationale for cancellation is completely flexible. Indian mascots are allegedly demeaning, but white male mascots are complimentary and that too is bad.
[I]t’s hard not to notice that the entire mascot brouhaha, from beginning to end, is not only stupid; it’s incoherent. The Redskins and Indians were forbidden because the use of Native Americans as mascots was supposedly degrading and dehumanizing. The names had to go because they were demeaning and insulting. All over the country, teams at all levels dropped their Indian-related names in order to show their respect and regard for American Indians.
At the same time, however, teams all over the country have dropped their Crusader nickname because they don’t want to seem to be glorifying the Crusaders, which in modern myth (and not remotely in reality) were rapacious, imperialist, unprovoked attacks upon peaceful, wise, indigenous Muslim people. The schools that bore the Crusader name didn’t want to appear to be supporting such actions by white supremacists against innocent people of color, so the Crusaders had to go. And now it’s a similar situation at WWU with the Vikings: Western Washington University doesn’t want to appear to be “idolizing conquest.”
But wait a minute. If the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians degraded Native Americans, why do teams named Crusaders or Vikings glorify racism and white supremacy? If what Leftists have been telling us about nicknames and mascots for the last few years were even close to true, woke WWU should proudly retain its Viking name and declare that they’re doing so in order to demean and insult Vikings and white people in general. After all, if team names actually glorified the group that inspired them, then the Redskins and Indians had no reason to change their name, right?
Related: Woke Mob Puts Out Hit on Notre Dame’s Leprechaun
But the Leftists don’t have to worry about consistency. They know that the establishment media will never call them out on their contradictions. No “journalist” today will ever ask why some team names can be seen as glorifying the group in question, while other team names are degrading.
Recent Harvard grad Carine Hajjar has bad news and some intelligent observations on the deplorable state of universities today, including in particular the most prestigious.
Before the Cold War, universities were run by faculty: “From the perspective of 100 years ago,” says Goldstein, “the idea that a faculty member would have his speech suppressed by the university was difficult to conceptualize.” During the Cold War, higher education was laden with research grants, one of the factors leading to the bureaucratization of the modern university. From 2007 to 2018, public degree-granting postsecondary schools in the U.S. generated a revenue of $671 billion. “The amount of money involved in higher education in the U.S. was slightly more than all the software we sell and electricity combined,” notes Goldstein. The result? “Universities don’t reflect the interest of the faculty anymore, they have the priorities of a corporation.”
The idea of university corporatism as an impetus for illiberalism is not new. In 2015, Fredrik deBoer, who had just completed a Ph.D. at Purdue, wrote a piece for the New York Times on the pernicious effects of corporatism on campus, stating that “a constantly expanding layer of university administrative jobs now exists at an increasing remove from the actual academic enterprise.”
Academic freedom is not optimal for market share. “Tranquility and profitability tend to win out over truth and inquiry,” says Goldstein. Controversial views (even if factually accurate) can disturb the corporate equilibrium. This may be one of the reasons why universities are increasingly dedicated to a new concept: “safetyism,” a term coined by FIRE’s founders, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in their book The Coddling of the American Mind. Educators’ telos is no longer only knowledge; it’s ensuring that students feel “safe.”
But what is “safe”? Goldstein deals with cases where students claim to feel “unsafe” when presented with certain arguments in class. But can one really equate words — statements, claims, hypotheses — to physical safety? “It isn’t as if somebody saying words will make you explode into a fine mist,” as Goldstein says.
“Safe” in modern parlance seems to be about being on the “correct” side of an issue. That side is no longer simply the one on the left. Pinker shared a story with me about a hiring process he was involved in. The candidate, in Pinker’s words, “was a kind of middle-of-the-road liberal Democrat.” His political orientation did not matter; he violated a pillar of the orthodoxy. “He was skeptical about affirmative action,” which got him “branded as an extreme right-winger.” I asked if this was the reason the candidate was not hired. “It went into it,” among other factors.
Larry Summers, former president of Harvard, told me that certain topics demand more homogeneity than others: “We’re comfortable accepting a fairly wide range of views on U.S.–China foreign policy but we’re not comfortable accepting a wide range of views on affirmative action.” Other taboos include certain positions on race, gender, and colonialism. Summers shared a hypothetical: “If someone did research that showed that it’s better for children to spend more time with their mothers during the first six years of their life during the day, you’d have to be an extraordinarily brave person to do that on Harvard’s campus.”
How did we get here? Wasn’t the once-whimsical soft Marxism of college enough? Pinker offered a psychological explanation, mentioning the work of his former postdoctoral student, Peter DiScioli, on the human creation of groups. Humans have a propensity to compete for prestige as well as a fear of being in the “more vulnerable coalition.” So they join the mob lest they be the target of the mob. It’s a phenomenon that occurs in witch hunts, cultural revolutions, and political purges: “Anyone can be a victim if they themselves don’t join the ‘denouncers.’” This can be extrapolated to universities-turned-corporations, which, seeking to avoid controversy, are happy to oblige denouncers.
Ironically, the hippie-student-against-the-man crowd is driving this whole corporate tilt. “It’s easiest for [administrators] if they cave. . . . No skin off their nose if the universities are less able to investigate questions of truth and falsity and explanation,” said Pinker. They’re more worried about appeasing the “left-leaning students protesting outside their office.”
Why is this woke crowd powerful enough to dictate university incentives? Humans, in general, want to be on the “right” side of history. “We’re all moralistic animals,” said Pinker. But that doesn’t mean objective morality: “Moralistic efforts are those that attempt to claim superiority and demonize opponents.” We go for what is perceived as moral. The Harper’s open letter touched on this: There’s a “vogue for public shaming” and a “tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”
So long as this “vogue” continues, profit-seeking entities will comply. Safetyism and moralism go hand in hand: Universities can avoid controversy by tolerating mob mentality. It’s similar to the virtue-signaling you’re seeing in corporate America (think woke Coke). It’s trendy, it’s safe, and it sells.
After all, what’s more corporate than appearing moral?
Anne Applebaum is an unusual establishment intellectual. She’s an American Jewish graduate of Yale married to the Polish nobleman and Oxford graduate Radek Sikorski, a Center Right politician who has been Foreign Minister and various other things in post-Soviet Free Poland.
Applebaum consequently is solidly in opposition to the Totalitarian tyranny and mass genocide of the last century in Central Europe, but her Jewish Liberal and American Ivy League Establishmentarian identities are equally strong. She writes for the enthusiastically radical leftist these days Atlantic. She has broken with many former conservative friends over their support for Nationalist Populism in Poland, Hungary, and the United States.
She loudly condemns Viktor Orbán and Donald Trump, but she generally gives the Revolutionary Left and their elite enablers a total pass.
So, it’s interesting to find her, in the Atlantic no less, taking a stand against the current Cancel Culture Reign of Terror.
Her critique is pretty good, though I did think her efforts to dissociate all this from Leftism generally constituted pure Denial in its saddest form, and her studied efforts to identify equivalent speech suppression originating from the Right (Project Veritas!) smelled just a bit of desperation. “In this (relatively trivial) incident (which I for one had never heard of), the storm came from the right, as it surely will in the future: The tools of social-media mob justice are available to partisans of all kinds.”
Except “partisans of all kind” do not control Hollywood, Disney, Amazon, Netflix, CNN, NBC, Time, Newsweek, ESPN, the NFL, the NBA, the New York Times, the Washington Post, all the rest of the Establishment Media. “Partisans of all kinds” do not make the policies or conduct the kangaroo courts at Harvard, Yale, and all the rest of the colleges and universities. “Partisans of all kinds” do not get to ban opponents on the Left from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Only the Puritan Left does.
Actually, she needs to be careful herself. The left-wing mob ran Matt Taibbi and Andrew Sullivan out of cushy Establishment positions. There is no reason to suppose that they will not go after her, too.
Students and professors, editorial assistants and editors in chief—all are aware of what kind of society they now inhabit. That’s why they censor themselves…”
“… why they steer clear of certain topics, why they avoid discussing anything too sensitive for fear of being mobbed or ostracized or fired without due process…. Many people have told me they want to change this atmosphere, but don’t know how. Some hope to ride it out, to wait for this moral panic to pass, or for an even younger generation to rebel against it….
Anonymous reports and Twitter mobs, not the reasoned judgments of peers, will shape the fate of individuals. Writers and journalists will fear publication. Universities will no longer be dedicated to the creation and dissemination of knowledge but to the promotion of student comfort and the avoidance of social-media attacks. Worse, if we drive all of the difficult people, the demanding people, and the eccentric people away from the creative professions where they used to thrive, we will become a flatter, duller, less interesting society, a place where manuscripts sit in drawers for fear of arbitrary judgments. The arts, the humanities, and the media will become stiff, predictable, and mediocre….
There will be nothing to do but sit back and wait for the Hawthornes of the future to expose us.”
RTWT (Outline.com will fork if you get paywalled.)
British Universities are just one short step ahead of ours on the road to Revolutionary Insanity. The Telegraph reports:
Sir Isaac Newton has been labelled as a potential beneficiary of “colonial-era activity” in draft plans to “decolonise” the engineering curriculum at Sheffield University.
Students learning about the mathematician and scientist’s three laws of motion, the core of modern physics, could see changes in their teaching to explain the “global origins and historical context” of his theories, documents suggest.
The plans form part of the engineering faculty’s efforts to “challenge long-standing conscious and unconscious biases” among students to tackle “Eurocentric” and “white saviour” approaches to science and maths, and promote “inclusive design”.
A leaked copy of the “draft inclusive curriculum development” plan at the Russell Group institution says that “much important engineering content and curriculum resources is based on maths developed in the 18/19th century.”
It claims pioneering scientists including Paul Dirac, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Newton, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz “could be considered as benefiting from colonial era activity”.
Newton, who lived until 1727, laid the foundations of modern science with his theory of gravity, in the seminal Principia, and theories on light, time, colour and calculus.
His equation for universal gravitation, written in 1666 when he was 23, helped overthrow more than a thousand years of Aristotelian thinking.
He was once voted Cambridge University student of all time by current students. He went on to become President of the Royal Society and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
The documents do not explain how Newton is thought to have benefited from colonialism. However, it is known that he held shares in the South Sea Company that traded in slaves.
Newton initially made money but later lost £20,000, a fortune at the time, after the company ran into financial difficulties.
Other shareholders at the time included 462 members of the House of Commons and 100 members of the House of Lords.
While his views on slavery are little known, he was deeply religious and confessed multiple sins, including “setting my heart on money learning pleasure more than Thee”.
Newton is the latest historical figure to be swept into a drive by staff and students to “decolonise” campuses, which intensified in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.
Her values and perspective fly in the face of the Left’s politics of Identity Group helpless victimization and grievance culture. So it should not be surprising that Yale Law School and the undergraduate newspaper are both going after Amy Chua.
She is being cancelled, we learn, for the hideous and outrageous crime of hosting private dinner parties, and (The horror! The horror!) sharing alcoholic beverages with Yale Law students and prominent members of the legal community.
Law students are all obviously over 21 and of legal drinking age, but apparently Chua was warned off any outside school socializing with law students in 2019 as a result of her husband Jed Rubenfeld receiving a two-year suspension after a Me-Too-style witch hunt investigation into rather vaporous accusations of “disparate treatment and boundary crossing” with females, drinking with students, “inappropriate employment practices,” and “retaliation against disloyal students.”
When I was at Yale, middle-aged male professors had affairs with attractive grad students and even sometimes with teenage undergrad coeds, and nobody thought this was a problem. The girls were of the age of consent, after all, and college students were thought to be entitled to live as adults.
So, with new allegations of recent off-campus dining and wine-bibbing with adult students and distinguished jurists, Yale Law School apparently moved silently to deprive Amy Chua of a minor academic responsibility, leading first-year small groups, and leaked details of her punishment and supposed disgrace to the Oldest College Daily before even notifying Chua.
DEDICATED TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN
LOVING MEMORY OF EDWARD McCULLY, PRESIDENT
OF THE CLASS OF 1949, AND JAMES ELLIOT ’49,
LIKEWISE AN OUTSTANDING ATHLETE AND LEADER.
BECAUSE OF THE GREAT COMMISSION, ED AND
JIM, TOGETHER WITH NATHANAEL SAINT EX ’48,
ROGER YOUDERIAN AND PETER FLEMING WENT
TO THE MISSION FIELD WILLING FOR
“ANYTHING–ANYWHERE REGARDLESS OF COST.”
THEY CHOSE THE JUNGLES OF ECUADOR –
INHABITED BY THE AUCA INDIANS. FOR
GENERATIONS ALL STRANGERS WERE KILLED BY
THESE SAVAGE INDIANS. AFTER MANY DAYS OF
PATIENT PREPARATION AND DEVOUT PRAYER,
THE MISSIONARIES MADE THE FIRST FRIENDLY
CONTACT KNOWN TO HISTORY WITH THE AUCAS.
ON JANUARY 8, 1956, THE FIVE MISSIONARIES WERE
BRUTALLY SLAIN – – MARTYRS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
The 64-year-old plaque commemorated five missionaries slain in Ecuador, including three who were alumni of the DuPage County Christian liberal arts college. School officials are looking to replace the plaque, and a task force will review potential new wording, college President Philip Ryken said in the letter.
“The word ‘savage’ is regarded as pejorative and has been used historically to dehumanize and mistreat Indigenous peoples around the world,” he wrote. “Any descriptions on our campus of people or people groups should reflect the full dignity of human beings made in the image of God.”
Concerns about the wording on the plaque have come from about a dozen students and staff since the start of the school year, college spokesman Joseph Moore said.
Before it was taken down Tuesday, the plaque hung in the foyer of the college’s main chapel, where students traditionally gathered three times a week.
“I think inevitably language changes,” Moore said. “The meaning of language and descriptors can change over the decades, and it’s understandable that eventually we would have to examine whether something still honors people appropriately.”
The missionaries were killed in Ecuador in 1956. The plaque was donated by the college’s class of 1949, which included two of those killed.
College students Caitlyn Kasper and Isabella Wallmow applauded the decision to take down the plaque.
“I feel like it could be worded better, or more sensitively,” Kasper, 22, said.
She and Wallmow, 21, said they hoped the change would indicate the college’s willingness to revise and grapple with other past actions.
“Plaques like that have caused pain to people, and are almost a symbol of white superiority in their very presences and in how they make people of color feel unwelcome at Wheaton,” she said.